Qantas claims to be the “spirit of Australia,” it’s a smart piece of advertising, but the spirit we encountered in Australia was of a more ancient kind, the spirit of the Aboriginal peoples.
Sitting round a fire eating freshly grilled fish listening to people talk about Aboriginal connection to the land and the importance of their families was an enlightening experience.
Put simply that connection is everything and without it the Aboriginal soul suffers.
The voice of the indigenous Australian is so rarely heard in the West it may as well be silent and what we do know tends to be based on cliche and stereotype.
The communities do have a problem with drink and substance abuse, jobs are hard to come by and many fall by the educational wayside.
When I asked why things are so difficult for Aboriginal peoples I received a surprising answer.
“We implode, we don’t explode. If we exploded we would be bombing places by now.”
They are a beautiful people with a beautiful history until the European settlers arrived and turned their harmonious existence into a nightmare.
Still moves are afoot to reconnect the first people of Australia with their culture, a culture of co-existence with nature.
It is they who should be teaching us.